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Affordable Care Act expands insurance options for small businesses

September 10, 2013 10:00:00 PM PDT
Starting October 1, you can begin signing up for healthcare coverage through the new Affordable Care Act.

Part of the Dill Pickle Co-op's creed is offering health care insurance to its employees. They pay 70-percent of the full-time employees premiums. With the Affordable Care Act coming online next year, small businesses may see more competition for their business among insurance companies.

"We hope that once this marketplace comes online that we'll see a decrease in premium rates," said Sharon Hoyer, general manager, Dill Pickle Co-op.

Jillian Phillips is a state certified in-person counselor for affordable care working with business owners and individuals to better understand their options. She says starting October 1, those without insurance can shop for health insurance through an online marketplace and may be eligible for premium subsidies.

"You'll find out what programs you'll be eligible for, and you'll be able to shop for a number of different plans from different insurers. It will be side-by-side comparison shopping," said Phillips. Rahim McWilliams is a part-timer at Evanston Subaru. He is a healthy 24-year-old but is without health insurance. He hopes to find options in the coming weeks.

"Every day you take a chance on not having insurance because you never know when you might need some kind of health care. Because anything can happen at your job or when you're walking on the street, anything can happen," said Rahim McWilliams, part-time employee.

The owner of Evanston Subaru offers insurance to full time employees. With fewer than fifty employees he qualifies as a small business, he says he's holding off on any big plans to expand staff until he sees how affordable care will impact larger businesses.

"I worry a lot because if I start getting more employees then my overhead goes up and the compliance goes up and there's layers and layers of things," said Rob Paddor, Evanston Subaru.

If you have insurance through your employer currently, you don't have to do anything. But for those without insurance, the options open up October 1.

Leah wants to know your questions and concerns about the Affordable Care Act. Please CLICK HERE to post your questions or comments.

General information about the Affordable Care Act:
http://www.healthcare.gov

Great resource for small businesses and the ACA:
healthcoverageguide.org


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